Hofstede’s Individualism in Crimestoppers
Focus on UK-Canadian Programs
International Communication January 6, 2013 Word Count: 2598
There are many vast differences among the numerous cultural value systems, as most “value systems are rooted strongly in history and appear to be resistant to change” (De Mooij, 2003). However, if a culture has a significant influence on the development of another nation’s culture, is it surprising that those same values could very well transfer over? In the newer developed culture that adopted traits of a “mother” nation, is it not plausible for such aspects as advertisement and communication strategies to hold potential for applicability to both cultures alike? As Canada is a part of United Kingdom’s Commonwealth, it is a logical assumption that they inherited cultural traits and attributes commonly associated with those from the UK. Invoking the question whether they have they lost these cultural notions over their years of independence? According to Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (Hofstede, 2001) individualism is an apparent cultural characteristic that both the United Kingdom and Canada still presently share. An international communicator could make a reasonable presumption that advertisement and communication strategies from the United Kingdom, being a mother nation to Canada, can be successfully utilized in Canada. In spite of this, there are little resources available to support such an acclamation. For such reason, the objective of this paper is to identify cultural attributes shared between the United Kingdom and Canada. Thus engaging the question - What significant features in respective Crimestoppers campaigns, reflect cultural similarities of both Canada and United Kingdom?
Purpose This research report will aim to establish significant comparable characteristics of Canada and United Kingdom’s national resemblance over Hofstede’s cultural individualism. Therefore, analyzing of adverts from both countries’ Crimestoppers programs, assessing over the traits epitomized through Geert Hofstede’s individualism/collectivism cultural dimension and criteria of the high/low-context culture. This will give insight of cultural comparable characteristics from the adverts, which bares practical relevance for international communicators planning advertisements in both or each of the respective countries. The combination of distinguishing major similar characteristics evident in such adverts, and weighing them with the attributes stated in Hofstede’s dimensions of Canada and United Kingdom can act as a pertinent source for future cross-culture comparisons. 2|Page
Theoretical Framework Culture typically holds a fuzzy perception, which makes effective marketing and advertising communication difficult in adapting to a foreign or international target market’s cultural values. For communication practitioners to assess their strategy’s affect on another cultural market there needs to be a basis in which they can conduct such evaluation. Such a basis for cross-examining countries does exist and is held in the highest regard for cultural comparison. The basis for said desire, is in Geert Hofstede’s 5 cultural dimensions: Power Distance (PDI), Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV), Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) and Long-term versus Short-term orientation (LTO). These dimensions are used by many in the subject of cross-cultural communications; one individual in particular whose cross-cultural theories are deeply rooted from these 5 dimensions is Marieke de Mooij. As exclaimed by de Mooij (2003) “Countries can now be compared by means of dimensional scales and culture…in particular Hofstede’s (1991, 2001) dimensions of national culture are useful because of availability of country scores for a large number of countries” and the characteristics these dimensions implicate. Geert Hofstede’s 5-dimension model...